Hardware and Softie

A couple weeks ago I finally picked up a copy of Aimee Ray’s Doodle Stitching. What with my sudden bird obsession and all, I decided to try the owl softie project. I’ve made one or two knitted softies, but I’ve never sewn any.

So far I’m pretty pleased with how it’s going. I was nervous about the eyes — it’s so easy to have eyes turn out accidentally evil-looking, not to mention the fact that satin stitch circles are not my strong suit. They always come out like little footballs. (American footballs, that is. I suppose in the rest of the world, football-shaped would be exactly right.)

Recently &Stitches did a series of posts on satin stitch, and this one has a suggestion for making circles come out right. I tried it, and it worked out pretty well. They’re not perfect, but they’re the best embroidered circles I’ve done so far.

WIP - Doodle stitch owl

Now I just need to finish up the embroidery, then cut out the pieces, sew it up and stuff it.

Today the hardware for the man purse came, so I can get on with that project. Can I rave about Strapworks for a bit? (I promise they’re not paying me to say nice things about them. For that matter I’m pretty sure no one would offer me money to promote anything in my teenytiny blog.) I’ve ordered from them twice so far, and both times I’ve been amazed at the great prices and fast service. The first time, I was ordering hardware for this messenger bag, which predates the blog, so I don’t think I ever wrote about it here. I love this bag to death — it’s been my main purse ever since I finished it. The pattern is on Craftsy here: Walter+Veronica messenger bag and I think it’s also available from Etsy.

Messenger bag

I ordered at night, my shipment went out first thing the next morning, and I had it in my hands two days later. Seriously. They somehow bent the spacetime continuum to get the package to me in two days from Oregon to Ohio. I hadn’t been sure what the quality would be like since the prices were so low, but it’s good quality, sturdy stuff. The 1.5″ slide adjusters I got were 70 cents apiece, and the 1.5″ rectangular metal loops were 47 cents apiece. (You can be pretty sure Joann’s wouldn’t sell that set of hardware for $1.17! I ordered four of each to have enough on hand to make a few bags without needing to reorder.)

For the one I’m making now, I wanted more guy-suitable hardware (and polypropylene webbing for the strap) so I made another order. They offer powder coating in a ton of colors for a pretty small extra charge. I didn’t try it last time because the web site says it takes up to 5 days extra, and I was all fired up to make that bag. But this time I ordered the hardware powder coated to match the bag. It all shipped two days after I ordered and got here today. It was packaged really well, each powder-coated piece in its own little ziploc bag so they wouldn’t scuff each other up in transit, and it looks fantastic:

Messenger bag hardware

I’m pretty thrilled with how it came out. I don’t know yet how well the powder coating holds up since this is my first time using it — I’ll try to remember to take a picture after a few months of use. I think it’s possible that the snap hooks (they’re to make the strap detachable) might scuff up the coating on the D-rings after a while, so I’ll just have to wait and see.